13 February 2013

Ghana: Talensi District Assembly to Register 'Galamsey' Operators

For proper regulation and easy monitoring of its activities, the Talensi District Assembly in the Upper East Region would soon embark on a mass registration exercise of small scale miners, otherwise called 'galamsey' operators, in the district.

When done with the registration, the Assembly would also sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the 'galamsey' operators, regarding their operations, for easy collection of revenue from them.

The District Chief Executive, Mr. Edward Awuunure, who disclosed this to The Chronicle in an exclusive interview, added that even though some of these 'galamsey' operators were registered with the Minerals Commission, there was the need for them to register with the assembly.

He said legally, the operators have to be properly regulated, streamlined, and organised to ensure that even if they operate by law, they do not go beyond that. "Mind you, they work based on concession; so we are to ensure that they don't go beyond that," he stressed.

He further showed his displeasure at how some of these miners carry out their activities. "It is disappointing and devastating if you own, for instance, a public school, and miners mine very close to this school to the extent of destroying the school; it's certainly not the best. There are other environmental challenges we face as well from them, in our bid to protect and conserve the wild life."

Mr. Awunure on the other hand, emphasised the need to construct modern stalls at the Pwalugu market to help generate more income for the assembly.

He stated that plans were far ahead for the assembly to construct new dams and de-silt some existing ones in the area for dry season farming for the youth to stop them from travelling down south to search for non-existing jobs.

He observed that bushes were being set on fire, and called on the community members to desist from the practice, because it was spoiling the soil nutrients, and also destroying farm produce.

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